“Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.”
(Ruth 1:14 NIV)
Friend to Friend
Have you ever been reading the Bible and suddenly something grabs hold of you so tightly, you know, oh you know, that God has opened your eyes to a new truth? That He has spoken to you loud and clear? Not through someone else, but directly to you? That happened to me one morning while reading the story of Ruth, Orpah, and Naomi.
How many times have I read this story, taught this story, pondered this passage, and yet, God still opened my eyes to something new? Stand with me on the road back to Bethlehem as Ruth and Orpah are crying because their mother-in-law, Naomi, is headed back to Bethlehem. They both wanted to go with her, begged to go with her, pled to go with her.
But then Naomi said to the girls: “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD’s hand has turned against me!” (Ruth 1:11-13 NIV).
So Orpah turned around and went home. But Ruth replied: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.” (Ruth 1 16-18 NIV).
Ruth, a Moabite, told Naomi, “Your God will be my God!” God was enough. She didn’t care if there was no husband, no future, no provision. She was not turning her back on Naomi. She was not turning her back on the God of Abraham. She was moving forward and trusting God!
There was nothing for Orpah in Bethlehem but God. There was nothing for Ruth in Bethlehem but God. How many of us look at the future as Orpah did? We look ahead and it looks bleak, so we give up, turn around and go backwards…tuck our tails and go home?
How many of us look at the future, as Ruth did? She saw only God, and continued moving forward? How many of us, like Ruth, believe that God is enough?
I’m going to have to stop and pray right now: “God, I don’t see anything positive in this situation. I don’t see any hope. But I do see You and that’s enough. I’m moving forward…to Bethlehem…to the city whose name means, “House of Bread!”
How many of us are willing to be a Ruth? “God I don’t see what the future holds. I know others around me don’t see any future for me. I have Naomis in my life who tell me to turn around and go home. But God, you are enough. You are more than enough. You are all I need. I’m moving forward. I’m moving toward You!”
Ruth didn’t see anything bright in a future in Bethlehem. No husband, no home, no children. All she saw was God. And what did God give her in Bethlehem? He gave her a husband, a home, and children. All she saw was God…and God blessed her in ways that surprised everyone – including her own self.
And what happened to Orpah, the gal who turned around and went back home because she believed Naomi’s prediction of a bleak future? Who knows? We never heard about her again.
Dear God, no matter what anyone tells me today to try and discourage me from following hard after You, I am pressing forward. I am believing in You. I am trusting in You. I am clinging to You. You are more than enough.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
There will always be Naomi-people who try to tell us to turn around and go home—who tell us that God is not enough. But listen; sometimes it is not a person, but the devil, Satan himself. He will whisper in your ear. “Don’t depend on God to meet your needs, go here, go there, your chances are better getting ____________ on your own.” You can fill in that blank with husband, children, financial blessing, health, and just about anything.
What are you trusting God for today?
More from the Girlfriends
How will you encounter God today? As redeemer, healer, provider? The more you know Him, the more you trust Him. Throughout Scripture, God reveals His character and His ways through His names. If you would like to know more about who God is, check out our Girlfriends in God book, Knowing God by Name. Here, Mary, Gwen, and I dig deep into 40 of our favorite names of God in our familiar Girlfriends in God style. We also have eight free video lessons.